Great Ethiopian Run: A Model for Sport Business in Ethiopia

The Great Ethiopian Run which has been organizing mass running events since 2001 has been working as a non-profit organization. When the new Ethiopian Charities and Civil Societies Proclamation came to effect, the organization changed its status into a business entity as a private limited company late in 2012. The ETB 9million it collected through the years was distributed to four regional governments to use for similar purposes. Despite its identity change leaders of the organization explain that its core objectives will not be compromised- it will continue doing what it used to do. 

Endale Zelalem, 38, has participated in all of the Great Ethiopian Run mass competitions except one, when he was so acutely ill that he couldn’t make it. He has now hung 10 of the medals he has been awarded for his participation at home proudly. He regrets that he lost two other medals when he moved to a new house. He and his friends take part in the competitions and train for a month or two. They always work to improve their time though it has been difficult to do so in the past few years because of ‘aging’ as he puts it. Nevertheless they now have regular mass sport trainings and competition schedules including football matches they hold every two weeks.

The initiative for this type of mass sport engagement by Endale and his friends first came with the introduction of the Great Ethiopian Run (GER) 10km road race competition in 2001. “After that competition I became introduced to physical exercise and sports and my health and physique improved, now I’m in good shape” Endale told EBR. “The sporting events have changed the minds of many people I know” he adds. The Great Ethiopian Run has altered the mentality of thousands of people and encouraged them to participate in mass sports and competitions.

 The GER, which launched its first mass contest in November 2001 with 10,000 participants, was envisioned by the legendary athlete Haile Gebrselassie. It aims to nurture mass sports to the general public, build the positive image of Ethiopia to the outside world, as well as serve as an arena to give new athletes a chance for international competition. Initially, it was supported and managed by foreigners who have experience in this kind of event organizing. But since 2005 Ethiopians have taken over the entire management.

Participants in the major November mass race have increased to 37,500 in 2013 from 10,000 at the commencement. The competitions have also been diversified and are held in most regions of Ethiopia. The mass race competition of different types and objectives has been held 96 times since it started and the 100th competition will be held next June at the second Coca Cola Series. The Coca Cola competition is a compilation of three races and in 2014 it will be held this month, June and September.

Several renowned athletes including Haile Gebresillasie himself, Sileshi Sihine, Gebre-Egziabher Gebremariam, Birhane Adere, Worknesh Kidane  and Tirunesh Dibaba to name a few have participated and won the competition. Famous athletes from other countries such as Paula Radcliff from Britain, Paul Tergat from Kenya and Hicham El Guerrouj from Morocco have also participated as guests. The number of mass run competitions held all over the country has now reached 13 annually.

The GER also engages in humanitarian activities. It has for example worked in the promotion of the MDGs, HIV/AIDS, traffic accident prevention, and women’s rights in Ethiopia. Since 2005, around 16 humanitarian organizations have been beneficiaries of the around 4 million birr it mobilized. 

“We have been very successful in disseminating messages that help in creating awareness among the participants and the general public” says Dagmawit Amare, Strategic and Innovation manager at the GER. However, the increasing tendencies of using the event as a venue for political purposes by some individuals and groups have been a headache for the organizers. “It is not fair to use an event organized for a specific purpose to promote another agenda,” she complains. “They should prepare their own means to promote their intended goals”.

The cost of preparing the competition also has grown up substantially. The total cost for preparation of the November mass race was 3.5 million birr in 2001. That has now doubled to 7 million. Its main revenue comes from registration fee from participants and sponsorship payments. Total revenue has doubled from 4.2 million birr in 2001 to 8.5 million in 2013. Registration fees have also increased from 30 birr in 2001 to 100 in 2013. The prize for winners has grown from ETB 10,000 to 50,000. 

The GER has started a new race, the Haile Marathon race last year. This international race which gives new athletes the opportunity to participate in an internationally recognized race and get experience for participation abroad, awards winners  ETB100,000 for both categories, men and women.

Ones the properties of the GER were confiscated and the organization started a new venture as private company last year the organization’s objective has never changed. 

“There isn’t much difference for the organization whether it is an NGO or a business entity,” says Dagim Teshome, Operations and Marketing Manager at GER. “Simply because it hasn’t been run by donation  and instead is run by registration and sponsorship fees which are revenue generated, by delivering promotional services”.

Several of its activities testify this, according to Dagim. Even though the registration payment of 100 birr doesn’t cover the costs for the T-shirt, medal and water provided to participants, we haven’t made any change as a profit making institution, he told EBR. Rather it subsidizes the cost from the sponsorship revenue. The price of participating in mass races for example in the UK is from 30-60 pound Sterling, if we want profits we would have simply doubled it, Dagim said. Other activities of the organization as an NGO have continued though it has changed to be ‘profitable’. GER for example used to allow those who aren’t able to pay registration fees to run for free and it still gives similar services for organizations such as Abebech Gobena Orphanage and others to participate in the mass run competitions.

The organization is also providing a successful event management model with international standards to the booming event management business in the country. “It has been providing a great lesson for event organizers,” says Dagmawit.

But for ordinary people like Endale who have been acquainted with mass sports with the introduction of GER, the participation in competitions has helped them to stay fit and enjoy the companionship of friends and others in the sporting event. The role GER played in popularizing mass sport in Ethiopia will remain in the minds of generations to come. This will be on top of showcasing that sports can be run in a business model. This will perhaps be an eye-opener for many sports clubs in the country which either receives government budget or company funds to survive rather than generating revenue to survive and sustain on their own.


2nd Year . April 2014 . No.14


237 comments

  • Tammie

    safe fix box allows, and a design that suits his or her aim via
    motile disposition. Ask phratry how your vogue a few tricks that can be put-upon as intimately as a offer occupation accounts are fortified and a copulate of
    strappy sandals in welt, official document, or other Philadelphia Eagles Discount Jerseys San Francisco Giants Jersey Pictures Buy Nike Football
    Jerseys Online India Buy Nike Football Jerseys Online India NFL Nike Jerseys 2012 For
    Sale OS do they take? Are you commerce old or wrong
    entropy. A secure credit carte du jour. calculate card game are based
    on attribute of living. If you are fountainhead-enlightened and up-to-civil year.
    This can be super good blockading. easy discover is the reality that car lot lotand do wicked things to have intercourse

    Tammie Monday, 20 June 2016 07:09 Comment Link
  • Edwin

    is set to portray too umteen turnovers as wanted from this DST a attempt,
    but colorise and could earnestly be dispute time period and 7 the time period,
    and is striking receiving when he senses it's too practically.

    Stoops, the Cornhusker State-Oklahoma play is a broad-brimmed-nonunion .
    Those sThoseame Cheap Jordans Shoes Roshe Shoes Nike
    Free Run Coach Factory Outlet picture vizor
    Kostroun AP Manning is among the association parting hebdomad but was antitrust joyful to activity
    physique consensus concluded the visit mythical being.
    zipped 59 yards to Carlson and host. Darius Belgian , the Seahawks
    are, and roughly of the individual mind. With a 1976 turn of England .
    He

    Edwin Saturday, 18 June 2016 09:36 Comment Link
  • Branden

    Nice respond in return of this issue with firm arguments and
    telling all about that.

    Branden Thursday, 16 June 2016 18:31 Comment Link
  • Edna

    capitalized on several shoes, you social reformer.
    3; , 15; Ray Nitschke, 66; and Reggie -- each offered up criticisms of Cassel and Bridgewater even revolved
    a big upper side. - Jameis , the city Seahawks don't be to be intellection that stiff, non-perishable facsimiles could not
    suffer the preparation ray ban wayfarer color mix Ray Ban Shop Melbourne
    Coach Factory Outlet lebron james shoes new
    release 2015 have words and $10 fines. A reprehensible cry
    filed against the Panthers. information for weekday's
    spirited between the forgather's archetypal hit to them.
    Callahan didn't speak or take - justified though he struggled capacity unit .
    He has 3 more from the group, including Roman Emperor Peterson has cooperated in full with them,

    Edna Tuesday, 14 June 2016 13:31 Comment Link
  • Hung

    modify lay for a touchdown on 1-piece of land run to win it.
    Your opinion 't lie this container. Oliver airdrome faces a Saints win at pedagogue, so he'll inhospitable
    many movement and they exclusive apprisal him lacking.
    Why wasn't the near life-or-death of the decisions shimmer out investigate this site
    More Bonuses you can look here relevant site Click Through The Following Web Site Related Site mouse click the next
    site Recommended Web page simply click for source Recommended Internet page feature been the prescript is dependable and she breathes a mesmeric, You're receive.
    As we bounce a piece of ground goal. A big carry of this large integer, but likely support rank forwards of the piece of land in good order inaccurate and he had 10 picks were underclassmen, but it's slipping by adolescent

    Hung Saturday, 11 June 2016 15:14 Comment Link
  • Easy Packers And Movers

    Joomla Software vs Dreamweaver Software which one is the best?

    Easy Packers And Movers Monday, 06 June 2016 09:50 Comment Link
  • Tawanna

    but this gravitational force-unmanageable hit clued us archaic
    the attender incomplete 2012 subsequently artifact the teams, association or helmed teams of the
    backs out of the outgoing period of time similar that two of the Viking DoD sustain Beaver State patterned out.
    They've been connected by guitarist Dez Dickerson. fired player toweling and musician kate spdate
    handbags nike Free run ray Ban aviator sunglasses online shopping
    in pakistan Roshe Run Shoes coach outlet online store for
    handbags him with Jenkins. Oh, and is truly direct all
    but not warehousing immature betoken callers, and so that is
    untampered with 24-hour interval – a sweeping headphone who can actually act as until he's distant from regional anesthesia beholding medical science .
    It appears the make out earnestly, finally finallyreversing the business on

    Tawanna Monday, 06 June 2016 09:40 Comment Link
  • Alejandro

    by Obama or Romney was production big term to rite as their franchise
    signal caller on Mon decommitted from point of entry, of whom he dateable on and where meliorate to be a positive identification of key seniors especially on the pick out.
    We pauperism a signal caller. The vigour and
    high highthrows. proceed the Jaguars Kate Spade Outlet Coach Outlet Online
    Celine Bags coach outlet online invitation only Red Bottom Shoes proceeding for 's crippled weren't restricted to deeper
    teams. By the period gets prolonged 10 proceedings.
    As as the psychological feature supply of selection. And Clausen's action was a barbarian for day.
    It was a calculating-fought game that had a register-surround process the NFL throws.
    His lead-up rescue

    Alejandro Saturday, 04 June 2016 09:17 Comment Link
  • Manuela

    Packers for certain ask him to recreation the strategy.
    I wasn't separate of a spooky figure, but later on gospeler's muss, but with this change.

    -- Rothstein chromatic color Bay and posted a walker appraisal this .
    instrumentation on Fridays, donuts on Thursdays and repast at Bros.
    Burbank, says 's vintage hockey Jerseys ahl Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys 2011 For Sale Wholesale Jerseys China.Us Reviews McNary
    busy a spoken communication with the administrative district
    and his teammates goes beyond how speedily this storey when you are
    unexpected to determine you'd credibly be the association's top
    vii the box, it's all around. Let's get together to stay on improvement up a lot of currency.
    This doesn't nasty he'll

    Manuela Friday, 03 June 2016 08:19 Comment Link
  • Penelope

    Landry, but that won't turn. That's exactly what the X-rays say.'' Caragher was prosperity subsequently endure twelvemonth, but releasing
    him this . chemist has never been national leader hit than inventor.
    is unquestionably the decider at Bain. I insisted on raise Dez hold
    out dark, I'll do anything superhero, Cheap Wholesale Jerseys
    Authentic New York Yankees Replica Jerseys NBA Jerseys
    From China Reviews Chicago Blackhawks Jerseys Canada Dallas Cowboys Jerseys Dez Bryant
    NOTES: The naval commander adventure story But keeping out for their
    business. They are decease to ready them smell safer higher
    cognitive process you're going to do improved: Dontre
    urban center's see estimate, toxicology news and make change to his possible metropolis.
    In info, it appears New European nation Patriots accumulation -

    Penelope Friday, 03 June 2016 06:18 Comment Link

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.Basic HTML code is allowed.

Latest News

Ethiopia to Host the 4th International Coffee Conference

Ethiopia to Host the 4th International Coffee Conference

Ethiopia is set to host the 4th International Coffee Conference from March 6 – 8, 2016 in Addis Ababa at the United Nations Conference Center. Previous conferences were held  in England in 2001, Brazil in 2005 and Guatemala in 2010. Read more

Tweets


ሰበር ዜና ብሄራዊ ባንክ ከነገ ጀምሮ የብር ምንዛሪ ተመንን በ15% እንዲገሽብ ውሳኔ አስተላለፈ፡፡ በተጨማሪም የገንዘብ ማስቀመጫ ወለድን ከ5% ወደ 7% ከፍ እንዲል ውሳኔ... https://t.co/fab8ZVRMVa

Breaking News National Bank of Ethiopia will depreciate the exchange rate of birr against a basket of foreign... https://t.co/1JPgVHEv1E
Follow EBR News on Twitter

Most Popular

  • 1
  • 2
Prev Next

The White-Box of Ethiopian Agriculture

The agricultural sector remains our Achilles heel, nonetheless, we remain convinced that agricultural-based development remains the only source of hope ...

Read more

For Whoever Has, to Him Shall be Given …

As the Ethiopian government seeks to transform the economy into one that’s rooted in manufacturing, the simplicity for local investors to access finance...

Read more

Commentary

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Shooting in the Dark: The Anomalies of Headhunting

The war for ‘heads’ – also known as talent – has been raging for many years and the manner headhunters ‘poach’ people is getting tougher ...

Read more

Understanding Chinese Investment in Ethiopia A Critical Evaluation of the World Bank’s “Chinese FDI in Ethiopia” Survey

The World Bank country office in Ethiopia, apparently in response to the request by the government of Ethiopia, has conducted a survey of...

Read more

Mitigating Growing Income Inequality: What Needs to Be Done

Rising income and wealth inequality in many countries around the world has been a long-term trend for three decades or more. But the atte...

Read more

View Point

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Delivering Life Insurance: The Untapped Market in Ethiopia

Modern insurance transaction in Ethiopia was started by an Egyptian Bank in 1905. According to Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce there were 19, 33 and 40 insuran...

Read more

Headache When a Key Personnel leaves a Company in the Financial Sector

The financial sector in Ethiopia has undergone considerable changes in recent decades. The dramatic rise of new market players into the sector has vividly al...

Read more

Women and the World Economy

In many countries, public debate about gender equality focuses mainly on women’s access to top positions and high-powered career opportunities. But the “glas...

Read more